Debate about food prices: “Do not separate ecological and social issues”

Status: 27.12.2021 10:41 a.m.

What food prices are reasonable? The Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband warns not to play off ecological and social concerns against each other. The CSU sees the federal government in a conflict.

There should be no more junk prices for food – that was what Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir demanded in “Bild am Sonntag”. There are three goals: a secure income for the farmers, more animal welfare, climate and environmental protection and healthy food for everyone.

The Green politician made it clear that food must not become a “luxury good” either. But his statements also raise concerns. The managing director of the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband, Ulrich Schneider, demanded that price increases must be accompanied by significantly higher standard rates. “You can’t separate ecological and social issues. It’s only eco-social, otherwise you lose the support of the population”, Schneider told the newspaper “Welt”.

Higher animal welfare requirements would lead to higher prices anyway. “With this spiral that you then start, you have to be careful that the little farmers don’t fall behind,” added Schneider. He thinks Özdemir’s demand for healthier finished products is correct. The population must be able to rely on the fact that they will only get products in a normal supermarket that are not harmful to normal consumption.

“No more bans, but fair proceeds”

The Union also declared that it would pay close attention to the social impact, because “not everyone can afford organic products,” said Union vice-parliamentary group leader Steffen Bilger. He sees a danger from the possible import of cheaper food from abroad.

Bavaria’s Agriculture Minister Michaela Kaniber said that there has long been a consensus in society that there should be more animal welfare, healthy food, more climate protection, biodiversity and good income for farmers. However, the policy of the new federal government could not work, said the CSU politician: The farmers “no longer need bans and requirements, but fair revenues”. The federal government vacillates between bans by the Greens and maximum market liberalization of the FDP. However, the market has already led to ever larger companies.

“I don’t dictate menus”

Özdemir had pointed out wrong priorities: But he sometimes “had the feeling that a good engine oil is more important to us than a good salad oil”. The prices should express “the ecological truth” more strongly.

For too long it had been said that animal husbandry could continue as before, criticized the minister. “I no longer want to watch that companies only have the choice between growing or giving way.” Most pet owners treated their animals well. Meanwhile, he sees himself “as the top animal rights activist in this country,” emphasized Özdemir. In 2022, “clearly understandable animal husbandry labeling on meat” should come.

In addition, the catering in public institutions should be converted more to regional and organic, said the Green politician. At the same time he declared: “I don’t dictate menus and am a connoisseur myself.” But binding reduction targets for ingredients such as sugar, fat and salt are needed.

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